2013 Looking Forward: 10 Anticipated Bay Area Art Experiences
Taryn Simon: The Picture Collection
John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco
January 16 – March 2013
Taryn Simon's first solo exhibition in San Francisco features the debut of her new series The Picture Collection, an encapsulation of the New York Public Library, the world's largest circulating picture library. Simon's work is preoccupied with the systematizing and classification of photographic images. Previous series include The Innocents, portraits of people who have been exonerated from life or death sentences via DNA evidence, and An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar, portraits of hidden and/or highly secured sites around the American landscape. For more information, visit berggruen.com.
Resistance by Taraneh Hemami
The Luggage Store, San Francisco
January 18 – February 16, 2013
Taraneh Hemami's solo exhibition at the Luggage Store promises a continuation of her explorations into the "absent histories of dissent" in Iran and its diaspora. Recent work includes Free (2011), a gorgeous neon and cut vinyl installation on the front windows of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and Most Wanted (2007), which explored Muslim stereotypes through an examination of the FBI's "Most Wanted" online image archive. There is visual poetry in Hemami's work -- the images are often confounding and beautiful, even as they reveal stunning, sometimes ugly, truths. For more information visit luggagestoregallery.org.
Apichatpong Weerasethakul, still from Morakot (Emerald)
Apichatpong Weerasethakul: MATRIX 247
Curated by Dena Beard
Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive
February 15, 2013 - April 21, 2013
The MATRIX program at BAM/PFA features compelling work by internationally regarded artists. Independent Thai film screenwriter and director Apichatpong Weerasethakul's forthcoming sound and video installation, Morakot (Emerald), centers on the empty spaces of a defunct Bangkok hotel and former haven for Cambodian refugees in the 1980s. Most widely known for film, here the artist will create an immersive installation that promises to forge new cinematic territory. For more information, visit bampfa.berkeley.edu.
Jason Hanasik, film still from new installation, We always thought the walls would protect us, but suddenly realized they were as weak as our frames.
Conversation 6: Jason Hanasik + Berndnaut Smilde
San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery
February 15 – April 27, 2013
The Conversation series at the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery pairs one local artist with an artist from far afield. Conversation 6 marks the final exhibition in the current SFAC Gallery space, which will close this spring for seismic retrofitting. The forthcoming pairing, between local artist Hanasik and Dutch artist Smilde presents works that focus on transition, memory and the ephemeral. Hanasik's video work emotionally unpacks the foreclosure of the artist's family home --- a deeply personal experience that will resonate widely. Smilde's recent work explores and documents the process of creating artificial clouds within interior spaces. The resulting images are imbued with gravitas, uncertainty and mystery. Rumor has it that the artist may create an artificial cloud installation for the exhibition. Message to the arts commission: Please, o, please do! For more information, visit sfartscommission.org.
The Bay Lights by Leo Villareal
San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge West Span
March 2013 - 2015
Leo Villareal's self-directed quest to create a larger-than-life light installation on the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge has been a long time in the making and several millions of private money has been raised in the process to realize this independent project. It is perhaps more accurate to say that the artist will create a light installation out of the Bridge and will use it as a framework to house 25,000 individually programmed LED lights. The fact that it will be the largest light installation ever created is less interesting than the fact this herculean task will exist at all, visible wherever one can see the bridge, from miles and miles away. Surely it will be met with some contention -- many Parisians disapproved of outfitting the Eiffel Tower with lights, go figure -- but it will undoubtedly be an arresting gift to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Bay Area's most vital artery. For more information, visit thebaylights.org.
Stairwell's Exhibition #5
To Be Announced
Stairwell's, an indie project produced by artists Sarah Hotchkiss and Carey Lin, has traversed some very interesting spaces in the Bay Area to create an itinerant series of exhibitions and programs. Each project is accompanied by a publication and a series of "field trips" interspersed throughout the program plumb the collective experience of discovery as an art form. Projects have been housed in stairwells in storefront spaces, private homes and in Pier 70's Noonan Building. It is unclear what is planned for Exhibition #5, but of course this heightens our anticipation. For more information, visit stairwells.org
Curated by Jenny Gheith and Tanya Zimbardo
Various Off-Site Locations, produced by San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
The SECA Award -- bestowed by the SFMOMA auxiliary group Society for the Encouragement Contemporary Art -- is a key point of professional recognition among Bay Area artists. It typically includes funds for a new commission and an exhibition in the museum. This year's SECA, however, will take to the streets in favor of off-site spaces when the museum closes for a major expansion project June. This shift in thinking offers an exciting opportunity to consider site-specific venues and the four artists on deck all promise to deliver knockout solo exhibitions. Zarouhie Abdalian, Josh Faught, Jonn Herschend and David Wilson will produce new works in various sites around the city. Can. Not. Wait. For more information, visit sfmoma.org.
Nigel Poor's San Quentin Prison Report
Venue and Details TBA
For the last two years artist Nigel Poor has been working with incarcerated men at San Quentin Prison on various projects, including photography and radio. Recently, she accessed an archive of historic negatives, taken and housed at the prison -- she will mine these images with her cohort from the San Quentin Prison Report photography group to make a new body of work. This project is among the recipients of this year's Alternative Exposure grants awarded by San Francisco non-profit arts organization Southern Exposure. The AltEx program is a model re-granting program initiated by executive director Courtney Fink to support independent initiatives in contemporary art -- the award has engendered advanced thinking about ways to realize new modes of production and is to be widely credited for this moment of development in the Bay Area's legacy of indie producers. Nigel Poor's San Quentin Prison Report is among this year's awards -- along with many other exciting projects to watch. For more information, visit nigelpoor.com.
The Thing Quarterly
Edited by Jonn Herschend and Will Rogan
Release Dates TBA
The Thing Quarterly is a periodical in the form of an object. Each object has function -- Anne Walsh created a doorstop, James Franco wrote on a table mirror with lipstick -- and each issue is a mystery until it arrives wrapped in distinctly spare brown paper packaging. An open participation wrapping party-slash-public event accompanies each issue, which is always a rousing good time. Collaboration is at the center of this five-year-old publishing project from inception to distribution. The whole project is the stuff of art and each discrete object is strangely beautiful to behold. Packaging an experience is a unique facility of editors and contemporary artists Jonn Herschend and Will Rogan -- and the thing is, they do it very, very well. Issues by David Shrigley, Tauba Auerbach, and Ben Marcus are forthcoming this year. Auerbach's graphic stylings make for a particularly exciting surprise. For more information, visit thethingquarterly.com.
More on Visual Arts
Art Review | Jun 18, 2013
A giant pink inflatable elephant, a yeti hugging a unicorn, and a big blue head -- what could be better? By Kristin Farr
Noise Pop | Jun 18, 2013
Listen to the Noise Pop Podcast previewing some of the acts that will be performing at the Treasure Island Music Festival including: Animal Collective, Disclosure, James Blake, Phantogram, Sleigh Bells and more.
Event | Jun 17, 2013
Last Saturday, awards were given for best videos produced in 48 hours by Bay Area bands and filmmakers. Even without a red carpet or paparazzi, the event was truly special, bringing together two vibrant artistic communities. By Amanda Roscoe Mayo
Theater Review | Jun 17, 2013
Playing Dance Dance Revolution in the Chinese Land of the Dead is par for the course in Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig's play 410[GONE]. By Sam Hurwitt
Book Review | Jun 16, 2013
A new book chronicles the history of the Dada-inspired art collective that spent the '80s and '90s concocting elaborate public pranks and performances. By Emily Eifler
Art & Design
The city of London boasts centuries of architectural history. But a building boom is threatening the city's traditionally low-rise aesthetic and the views of some of that history. Critics — including UNESCO — are very worried about London's changing skyline.
For women on city streets, unwanted attention from men often comes in the form of cat calls, whistles and roving eyes. New York artist Tatayana Fazlalizadeh says she's had enough and is taking her art to the streets.
Psychologist Nancy Etcoff explains why beauty inspires and motivates us. Etcoff says our response to beauty is visceral.
Designer Richard Seymour says material things like cars and cassette decks can be beautiful. In fact, they should be. He says within microseconds, people fall in love with a well-designed object, and they "feel" the beauty before they think about it.
Also on KQED.org this week ...
"The Bay Bridged" Music for June
Listen the The Bay Bridged mix of bands performing live in the Bay Area this month, including The Mantles, Cold Cave, The Spyrals, Blitzen Trapper, Monster Rally, and more. Enjoy the podcast and then go see some concerts!
Obamacare Explained: A Guide for Californians
Starting Jan 1, 2014, most Americans will be required to have health insurance or pay a fine. KQED has created a simple guide to explain how the health law affects you, your family or your small business, here in California.